Some 3,000 Palestinian protesters marched from the city hall of the West Bank city of Hebron toward an Israeli checkpoint on Friday, as part of demonstrations throughout the territories marking the 25th anniversary of the Hamas terrorist organization.
IDF and Border Police forces stationed near the checkpoint, which guards the city’s Jewish neighborhoods, fired tear gas canisters to disperse the protesters after they began throwing rocks at one of the Jewish-owned homes.
In several other areas of the West Bank, Palestinian demonstrators attacked Israeli targets. No injuries were reported.
In Qalandiya, north of Jerusalem, and in the village of Bil’in, known for its weekly protests against the security barrier, Palestinians threw stones at Israeli security forces.
In Kufr Qaddoum, dozens of protesters threw stones and set tires alight.
And near Ma’aleh Shomron, a West Bank settlement about 10 kilometers east of Kfar Saba, and outside Ramallah, Israeli vehicles were pelted with rocks.
Despite Israeli fears, prayers on the Temple Mount in the capital ended without incident.
On Thursday, a Palestinian was seriously injured by IDF fire after he attempted to throw a Molotov cocktail at a Border Police checkpoint in Hebron.
The incident came a day after a Border Police officer shot and killed a Palestinian teen who assaulted a guard near the Cave of the Patriarchs in the biblical city with a fake gun, on Wednesday. Seventeen-year-old Mohammed Suleima drew a fake pistol and pressed it against the head of an officer, and another Israeli soldier shot the suspect three times.
Hundreds of Palestinians threw rocks at the Israeli guard post where Suleima was shot amid riots that accompanied the youth’s funeral on Thursday.
Hebron Governor Khamel Hamid accused Israel of trying to drag the Palestinians into a third intifada. Hamid cited recent actions taken by Israel, like the withholding of PA tax revenues and announcements it would expand construction in the settlements, as well combative statements by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman as signs of Israel’s intentions to spark a violent uprising in the West Bank.
In an interview to a Nazareth based newspaper, Hamid said Suleima was deaf and well known to the soldiers at the checkpoint. He claimed soldiers prevented an ambulance from reaching the scene and treating him in time.
Also on Thursday, in the West Bank city of Nablus, Hamas held a mass rally to signal the improvement of relations between the Islamist group and its rival Fatah, under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas.
Some 10,000 Hamas supporters marched from Al-Nasr Mosque to Martyrs’ Square in downtown Nablus following afternoon prayers, where a mass rally was held to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the movement’s establishment.
Ilan Ben Zion and Elhanan Miller contributed to this report.